Agartala, November 28
The vote count for more than 200 seats in the Agartala Municipal Corporation (AMC) and other civic bodies in Tripura, where elections were held earlier amid allegations of rigging and attacks on political rivals, began Sunday.
A state Election Commission official said counting has started at 13 centers in the state’s eight districts where three-tier security is in place.
The run-up to the elections, which should have been a trivial matter, has become a notorious cause after it was marred by violence, arrests, sit-ins in distant Delhi and Supreme Court intervention calling on authorities to ensure a peaceful ballot.
Thursday’s poll itself was accompanied by accusations of electoral fraud by the TMC and CPI (M), both of which had demanded a new ballot in various municipalities. The ruling BJP, however, rejected the accusations.
In addition to normal security arrangements, the Tripura State Rifles and the Central Armed Police Force have also been deployed to maintain law and order in areas adjacent to counting centers, the Deputy Inspector General of Police said on Saturday. Subrata Chakrabarty.
There are 334 seats in urban local bodies – the AMC, 13 city councils and six Nagar Panchayats – in the state. The ruling BJP fielded candidates for all seats and won 112 unchallenged.
In the 222 remaining seats, up to 785 competitors are in the running.
The electoral battle saw the ruling BJP fight with the Trinamool Congress which is foraying the North East and elsewhere to establish itself as a national party, and with the CPI (M) which the Saffron Party had. dethroned from power in this state a few years ago.
The TMC, which alleged vote rigging and intimidation in the elections held on Thursday, demanded the annulment of the entire election while the CPI (M) called for new elections in five municipal bodies, including the ‘AMC.
Both parties had claimed that the authorities remained silent spectators as BJP supporters attacked their political rivals and rigged the elections. The Saffron Party, however, strongly denied the accusations.
In total, 81.54 percent of the over 4.93 lakh voters cast their vote in the election. PTI